When the chill of winter sets in, it’s easy to forget about our lawns. However, the steps you take during these colder months can significantly impact the health and beauty of your grass come spring. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a homeowner wanting to keep their yard in top shape, this guide will cover essential winter lawn care practices to ensure you have a lush, vibrant lawn when the thaw arrives.

Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

Mowing and Raking

One of the first steps in preparing your lawn for winter is to adjust your mowing habits.

  • Final Mow: As the temperatures drop, slowly lower your mower’s cutting blade. For the last mow, aim to cut the grass to about 2 to 2.5 inches. This height helps prevent disease and deters critters from burrowing in the taller grass.
  • Raking Leaves: Remove fallen leaves from your lawn regularly. A layer of wet leaves can suffocate the grass and create a breeding ground for disease. Instead of bagging leaves, consider composting them for a nutrient-rich conditioner or mulch for your garden soil.
Raking Leaves For Winter Lawn Care


Aerating your lawn is a beneficial practice that should be done in late autumn.

  • Why Aerate?: Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
  • How to Aerate: Use a garden fork or a mechanical aerator, which you can rent from most garden centers. Focus on areas with significant foot traffic, as they are often more compacted.

Winter Lawn Maintenance


A winter feed can make all the difference in your lawn’s health.

  • Choosing Fertiliser: Look for a fertiliser that is high in potassium. This nutrient strengthens the grass and makes it more resistant to disease and cold weather.
  • Application: Apply the fertiliser in late autumn, just before the ground freezes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the amount and distribution.


It’s crucial to keep your lawn hydrated until the first freeze.

  • Proper Hydration: Water your lawn deeply one or two days before the predicted freeze. This ensures that the grass has enough moisture to sustain through the winter.
  • Using Sprinklers: Turn off automatic sprinklers and drain hoses to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

Weed Control

Weeds can thrive in the winter if not controlled properly.

  • Spot Treatment: Use herbicides to treat any remaining weeds in your lawn. Winter is the opportune time to combat cool-season weeds like chickweed and henbit.
  • Pre-Emergent Herbicides: Apply pre-emergent herbicides in late autumn to prevent weed seeds from germinating when the weather warms up.

Winter Protection Strategies

Lawn Equipment Care

Proper maintenance of your lawn equipment ensures it’s ready for use in the spring.

  • Cleaning: Clean all tools thoroughly to remove any soil or plant material.
  • Sharpening Blades: Sharpen lawn mower blades to ensure a clean cut that promotes healthy growth.
  • Storage: Store equipment in a dry, cool place to prevent rust and damage.

Snow and Ice Management

Managing snow and ice is crucial to protect your lawn’s health.

  • Snow Removal: Avoid piling large amounts of snow on your lawn as this can lead to mold growth underneath. Spread it out as evenly as possible.
  • Salt Usage: Be cautious with de-icing salts, as excessive salt can damage your grass. Consider using sand or pet-safe ice melts to minimise harm.
Winter Lawn Care Of Frost

Winter lawn care might seem like a daunting task, but breaking it down into manageable steps can make the process much easier. Remember to mow and rake appropriately, aerate and fertilise before the ground freezes, control weeds, manage your equipment, and handle snow and ice with care. By following these practices, you’ll be setting up your lawn for a healthy and robust return in the spring.

For more tips on seasonal lawn maintenance, check out this comprehensive guide.